A new study from the Royal College of General Practitioners and NHS Diabetes has claimed that many people who have been told they have type 2 diabetes could actually be healthy.
The research, based on information from 45,000 patients at five doctor’s practices in Surrey, showed that two per cent of the patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes did not suffer from the metabolic condition at all. If these findings were extrapolated across the whole of the UK, it could account for about 50,000 cases of misdiagnosed diabetes.
Experts argue that that some of those being diagnosed with diabetes have not complained about any of the usual symptoms, such as weight loss, tiredness, blurred vision and extreme thirst. Patrick Sharp, secretary of the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists, commented “We know people without symptoms are being diagnosed on the basis of just one test. We could be medicating people who never go on to develop type 2.”
The news follows recent data from the charity Diabetes UK that the amount of diabetes cases had increased by 50 per cent since 2005, and that type 2 diabetes accounted for about 90 per cent of the 150,000 new diagnoses of the condition over the past year.
Dr Sharp added that “GPs now screen for diabetes at an earlier stage. By fishing in shallower waters, testing seemingly healthy patients, more borderline results are likely to be turned up and some may be wrongly prescribed Metformin by an over-cautious or ill-informed GP.”

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